The Arsenal History Society is part of the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association – a body which gives positive support to the club, and has regular meetings with directors and senior officials of the club to represent the views of its members to the club. You can read more about AISA on its website.
100 Years in the First Division: the absolute complete story of Arsenal’s promotion in 1919.
And now, Jens Lehmann.
On 10 November 1969 Jens Lehmann was born. Happy birthday Jens!
He played for Schalke, Milan and Borussia Dortmund before becoming the only player ever to play in every single top division game in one season without once being on the losing side.
He joined Arsenal on 25 July 2003, filling the vacancy left by David Seaman who had just left the club – just in time for the Unbeaten Season.
But more than being a member of the Unbeaten squad, Jens was the only man who played in every match of that season.
He is however remembered for his occasionally erratic style and eccentric manner, as when for example having won the league at White Hart Lane he was the only member of the squad who felt unable to come out and celebrate with the fans after the game, having made an error that led to a Tottenham goal.
But despite being the only ever-present member of the 2003/4 squad, criticisms of him always continued, and by 2004/5 he was occasionally replaced by Almumia – although errors by Almunia eventually led to Lehmann’s return.
There was also endless commentary surrounding whether Lehmann and Wenger actually got on, but despite the criticism and commentary, he was man of the match in the 2005 FA Cup final which Arsenal won 5-4 on penalties, following his saving of a shot from Scholes.
He continued to play into the 2005/6 season and ensured Arsenal achieved the record for the most successive clean sheets in the Champions League (ten). However in the 2006 Champions League final he was sent off against Barcelona and eventually Arsenal lost. But he was named Champions League Goalkeeper of the Year for 2005/6 for those 853 minutes without conceding.
n 2008 Lehmann went to Stuttgart and returned to Arsenal after retiring, due to a goalkeeper injury crisis at Arsenal. With Wojciech Szczesny, Lukasz Fabianski and Vito Mannone all injured on 17 March 2011 Lehmann re-signed on a rolling contract until the end of the season and was a substitute in Arsenal’s match against WBA on 19 March 2011.
He played again on 10 April 2011 in the away game at Blackpool when Almunia was injured in the warm up, making it 200 games for the club and the oldest player to play for Arsenal in the Premier League.
In the summer of 2017 he was confirmed as Arsenal’s assistant coach, a post he held until Arsene Wenger left Arsenal in the summer of 2018, at which time all his backroom staff left with him. Which is a shame because it would have been so much fun to see how Jens developed over the years to come.
We wish him well, and thank him totally for the unique achievement of being omnipresent in the Unbeaten Season.
He is a board member of the youth football foundation Stiftung Jugendfußball, founded 2000 upon the initiative of Jürgen Klinsmann. Lehmann also is reported to act as an ambassador of the foundation Power-Child Campus South Africa that supports children affected by HIV and well as foundations of Bert Trautmann, Christoph Metzelder and Bob Wilson. He also appeared in the film Temba as a football coach and talent scout.